Christie’s looks for realistic returns
The global economic slowdown and “selective demand” are pushing Christie’s to seek more realistic prices for their collections, directors of the auction house said on Sunday.
“This year, the market is not at the same level as it was one year or two years ago. We are facing a more challenging market,” Guillaume Cerruti, Christie’s president for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India, tells journalists in Dubai.
“To face this situation, the key word for us is selectivity,” he says, announcing two auctions this week in the glitzy Gulf emirate, one on modern and contemporary art and another showcasing Important-Watches.
“We want to have sales that are well curated, sales with maybe fewer objects but of high quality at ... realistic estimates,” he says.
In Tuesday’s auction of 113 artworks, the highest estimated price has been set at $180,000— far lower than the $400,000 price tag on paintings sold in March this year.
Around 150 watches go up for auction on Wednesday, with estimated prices reaching $250,000.
Among them are two Patek Philippe 18K white-gold automatic wristwatches with the Iraqi coat of arms and the name “Saddam”. Executed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein ordered the watches in 1974 and 1980 as gifts.
Their prices are estimated at $10,000 and $18,000 each.
London-based Christie’s, which celebrates its 250th anniversary on Dec 5, says its sales at Dubai auctions have exceeded $300 million since it opened a branch in the emirate 10 years ago.
An automatic wristwatch in Patek Philippe 18K white-gold at a Christie’s show in Dubai.